As part of our continued efforts to promote a national conversation about obesity and our support for obesity prevention efforts, Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring a three-part film series, The Weight of the Nation for Kids, focused on youth and premiering in spring 2013. Each film spotlights youth who are taking initiative to change the food and physical activity environments in their community as a way to combat the growing obesity epidemic.
Youth tackle the obesity epidemic
- Film #1: The Great Cafeteria Takeover
A group of New Orleans kids—who dubbed themselves the Rethinkers—set out to make a difference in their community during the post-Katrina rebuilding period. With a focus on changing their school lunch menus, the Rethinkers surveyed students at schools in their community and issued annual report cards to attract media coverage and capture the attention of decision-makers. Using the report cards and survey results, the kids negotiated with Aramark to provide healthier food choices. When a general agreement to provide more local, healthy food did not result in change, the kids held the school officials’ and the company’s feet to the fire and finally arrived at a specific agreement to serve fresh, locally produced food at least two times a week.
- Film #2: Kabreeya’s Story
Seventeen-year-old Kabreeya Lewis, a senior at Wayne Engineering High School in Goldsboro, N.C., had a simple goal: adding a salad bar in her school cafeteria. Tired of the usual menu of pizza, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and French fries, Kabreeya and her classmates wanted a healthy lunch option. Kabreeya pursued her goal with focus and persistence. She gathered her facts and found mentors to help her. She met with school and district administrators, built support among the residents of Goldsboro and even presented her case to the local city council. She met resistance, encountered bureaucracy and suffered setbacks. She also gained allies and persuaded important community leaders to support her effort.
- Film #3: Quiz Ed
Quiz Ed is a documentary-style quiz show that polls young people, ranging from 10 to 18 years of age, using riddles about the food and activity factors that are contributing to the obesity epidemic. Their answers range from funny guesses to sobering truths. The film also incorporates graphics and animation to provide entertaining explanations about these obesity-related subjects. Shot in Madison, Wisc., at schools, recreation centers, playing fields and sport venues, the film uncovers how much kids understand while exploring the importance of physical activity in their lives. The film features subjects who participate in a variety of sports and physical pursuits, and showcases stories about kids who have discovered a more active life.
As part of our ongoing commitment to improve health in schools, Kaiser Permanente is partnering with leading organizations on Thriving Schools—a comprehensive, national effort for K-12 students, their parents and families, as well as teachers and staff, focused on creating a culture of health in schools. Visit the Thriving Schools website to learn more.
The Weight of the Nation for Kids series provides additional resources for engaging school-based audiences with helpful resources and ideas for addressing obesity through healthy eating and active living. A Screening to Action: Quickstart Guide for the films, along with an array of other web-based mobilization tools can be accessed at the Community Commons.
You can access The Weight of the Nation for Kids films at HBO’s The Weight of the Nation™ website, where you’ll and find additional resources for understanding and taking action.